Meet the Maker: American Blossom Linens
Welcome to our ‘meet the maker’ series, where we'll be offering a peek behind the scenes at some of the incredible brands we've found who are making things to last a lifetime. First up, a brand that creates beautiful and durable home textiles using responsible and locally sourced materials, in a factory that has been in the family for decades. It's American Blossom Linens.
Please introduce yourself and your role at American Blossom Linens.
My name is Janet Wischnia. I am one of the owners of Thomaston Mills, which has been in my family since 1931, and the founder of the American Blossom Linens brand whose products are still manufactured by Thomaston Mills.
The American Blossom Linens Team
What was the driving force behind setting up American Blossom Linens?
Thomaston Mills was started in 1931 by my grandfather. He started off with one retail linen store in the downtown area of Philadelphia. The company then really grew under the leadership of my dad and my two uncles, who did not want to work in retail and so changed the business and became a wholesale distributor of textiles.
I turned 60 in 2019 and had been doing a lot of thinking about what direction I wanted my career to take. Two of my three children are married, and I had 2 grandchildren. I did not want the responsibility of being President, but I wanted to stay with the business. I had the itch to learn something new.
With all of the publicity about Made in America, the growing concern about sustainability and the environment, plus the growth of the direct-to-consumer model, I thought I would try to take our company back to its retail roots. Caring and being a responsible steward is a very important value that was taught in our family. The exit of the textile industry to China, India and Asia had cost over a million US jobs. How could we help protect them and also satisfy the demand we saw for American Made products?
It became my mission to create products that consumers could trust, that were Made in the USA, would be made to last, using only safe and sustainable manufacturing methods, and help our friends and neighbors keep their jobs. I stepped down as President and turned that job over to my very capable cousin Robert Zaslow and began to plan our new brand American Blossom Linens, bedding made completely in the USA from 100% organic cotton grown in Western Texas.
Tell us about your materials and production methods?
Our products are all made using natural sustainable fibers such as cotton and wool and are all sourced in the USA. For example, our cotton is grown in West Texas and is certified organic. All of our production takes place in the USA primarily in the south in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. All of the processes including the growing of the cotton to the spinning of the yarn, weaving of the fabric and the sewing are done in the USA.
Tell about the design of your products?
We have chosen to consider two main principles in our design process, durability and classic styling. One of our advertisers calls our product “modern vintage” which I think captures it well. Our goal is to make products that last and last, and in order to do that they have to be durable to hold up to years of washing and they have to be a very neutral styling that will function in many different design schemes. A lot of people say our bedding is like the bedding their grandmother used.
What frustrates you about the textiles industry?
That is very easy to answer. Number one, they focus on making products that are really disposable. They want you to have to buy a new set of sheets every six months. Second, they don’t focus on the value behind supporting the local economy, supply chain, and creating jobs in the USA which we all saw the problem with during the pandemic.
Which is your favorite piece in the collection and why?
I guess my favorite piece is the Classic Sheet Set because it was the first product we launched.
Classic Organic Cotton Sheets by American Blossom Linens
What makes American Blossom Linens different from other bedding on the market?
Our products are different because they are completely Made in the USA using sustainable fibers. The sizing of our sheets is more generous, all fitted sheets have extra wide elastic and top/bottom labels to make placing the sheet on the mattress easier, our fabric is heavier than most, all sheets have size labels and each queen and king set comes with 4 pillowcases (no other brand does this) because most couples use 4 pillows. Also, our towels are more generously sized, a more luxurious weight and Oeko-tex certified.
Have you got any exciting plans for American Blossom Linens over the next year?
Yes, we do. We are relaunching our herringbone blankets in a different pattern and we will be introducing a full bed size wool blanket. In the future we hope to add some other neutral colors to our line.
Tell us about a product in your life that has lasted a really long time.
I just love Zkano socks. I have many pairs of these fun socks and they really do last. I am a big exerciser so I do wear them a lot. They are made by this company which also focuses on manufacturing in the USA and using USA organic cotton.
Browse the full American Blossom Linens collection here.